Two early first half goals allowed the Brisbane Roar Women to collect all three points against reigning W-League Champions Canberra United at Suncorp Stadium today.
In a rematch of the 2009 Grand Final, the game was won and fought in the midfield with the Roar's Westfield Matilda Katrina Gorry named player of the match in a tireless display that showed why she is one of the best players in the Westfield W-League.
After missing the finals for the first time last season, Brisbane were back to their best today.
Attackers Amy Chapman, Emily Gielnik and Alisha Foote were a menace up front for the Canberra defence and goalkeeper, Lydia Williams.
Tameka Butt opened the scoring after just nine minutes with a solo run into the box and a neat finish. She then proceeded to out run the Canberra midfield for much of the game and helped set up several goal scoring opportunities.
The Roar added a second goal two minutes later when Williams fumbled a Ruth Blackburn shot into her own net.
The visitors pulled one back just before half time when striker Michelle Heyman scored her 51st W-League goal, cementing her status as the all-time leading Westfield W-League goal scorer.
In a further boost for Brisbane, the young Roar players (the club added 10 new players to its roster this season) showed they were up to Westfield W-league standard and can handle the demands of competing alongside some of the best players in the world.
Both Canberra and the Roar had ample opportunities to the seal the game in the second half.
However, new Roar keeper Haley Kopmeyer, on loan from Seattle Reign, provided a steadying influence at the back and was able to fend off any Canberra comeback while Williams atoned for her first-half mistake by repelling several one-on-one chances against Roar attackers.
Brisbane Roar 2 (Butt 9’, Blackburn 11’) def Canberra United 1 (Heyman 39’)